Towards a better integration of biodiversity concerns in the Common Agricultural Policy
The Cumulative Sustainable Rural Development Index
Drawing from its past studies, from a review of existing indicators, and from the experience of members from Central and Eastern Europe, CEEweb advances a Sustainable Rural Development Index (SRDI) to support the transition from evaluating from a purely nature-conservation approach to that of sustainable use of resources and enhancement of ecosystem services (as in line with the 2013 Communication of the Commission). The logic behind this study is that the preservation or stimulation of biodiversity-friendly farming systems depends on a number of social and economic factors that need to be efficiently addressed by the policy. In the short term, we are confronted with a crucial period in terms of reversing biodiversity loss in European agriculture. However, this process can only be achieved through a sustainable and balanced rural development that would provide the much needed social and economic tools to farmers so that they can truly become the stewards of the environment.